John 9:35-39 Jesus gives us true vision. Lent 3 March 19, 2017
By Pastor Kenneth Mellon, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Pleasant Valley Rd., West Bend, WI
Grace and peace are yours from God our Father and from Jesus, who reveals the truth for our salvation.
God’s Word about Jesus the true Light is written in John 9:35-39
These are Your words heavenly Father to help us clearly see Your Son as our Savior. Your Word is truth.
Dear Christians who see the truth in Christ,
The invention of Television many years ago was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because people could see and learn about the world by sight. Through TV people were educated about better health, money matters, home decorating, and many more subjects. On the other hand, TV can become a distraction especially for those who watch college basketball or where watching TV for some keeps them from helpful activities or good conversations. Today we’ll use the letters TV to describe something which Jesus gives us – True Vision. Jesus’ gift of vision is meant to be a blessing, but for those who refuse to see, it becomes a curse. In our verses Jesus helped a blind man to see, both physically and spiritually. Let us be thankful that:
Jesus gives us true vision
Without Him we are worse than blind. How can someone be worse than blind? The man that Jesus healed had been born blind. He had never seen the sunshine or blue sky or knew what his own parents looked like. He saw only darkness. How difficult life must have been for him. He was led to a public area, most likely the temple, to sit and beg for money. That was the existence of a blind man in Jesus’ time.
How could someone’s experience be worse than that? Spiritual blindness is worse because it refuses to accept the obvious truth. Jesus had healed this blind man by making mud and applying it to his eyelids and then telling him to go wash. At Jesus’ word, the man washed and could instantly see! Word spread quickly about him. When the religious leaders heard that Jesus healed him on the Sabbath, they blindly refused to believe that God made this happen. They questioned the man’s parents to be sure he was really blind. They repeatedly called in the healed man to seek another explanation for his healing. When he still held to Jesus healing him by the power of God, they cursed him as a sinner. They threw him out.
How blind these leaders had become! But, it shouldn’t surprise us. The devil is still blinding people into thinking they have a truer vision than God’s. The devil tricks people into thinking that they know the true God apart from Jesus or His Word. He has too many believing that they are so good they don’t need Christ to save them or he has others believe they are so bad they can’t be saved. Satan still uses prominent people like the Pharisees. Jesus said, “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” (John 9:9) Today, we have some university professors or celebrities in sports, music, or people like Bill Ney to try convince people that they don’t need God or specifically Jesus. They are just like the Pharisees who tried to turn the healed man from Christ. But, ask yourself, what did they really have to offer the man? The leaders hadn’t healed him. They had not offered him a place after he was healed. They had nothing to offer him for his future! Why should he follow them instead of Jesus who gave him all? They were like blind guide trying to lead the blind. If someone blind pretended to see, how long before they would trip over something or run into a wall?
The Bible tells the truth. People without spiritual insight have no hope or have false hopes for life. People live for money or power or fame, but in the end it will all be gone. People, who have lived their lives trying to avoid the truth, will come face to face with the living Christ on Judgment Day and they will be filled with fear, shame, and bitterness and live with that forever. John earlier wrote, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world…. But the world did not recognize Him. (John 1:9-10) We do not want to be under the influence of such unbelievers no matter how spiritual they may seem. If we are not hearing or reading God’s Word regularly, don’t be surprised if we start questioning things about God. It’s like watching TV with the mute button on. You can see the picture, but too often you do not understand what is going on. God warns us of this danger so that we don’t close our eyes to the truth of His Word! Try getting ready for a day keeping your eyes closed all morning. What will happen when you get out of bed? What kind of clothes will you put on? How are you going find food or get to work or school without getting hit by a car? So, without God’s Word, we will not accomplish what is good and we will not get to the place God wants us to be. We daily need to pray that the Holy Spirit will keep giving us the true vision of Christ through His Word and give us faith to hold on to the lasting blessings He offers.
Second, what are the blessings Jesus offered? Just as television opened up the wide world to people, so Christ has opened our minds to understand spiritual truths about God. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”(v.39) What did Jesus mean by these words? Those who “don’t see” are people who know that they can’t save themselves. They can’t please God or get to heaven on their own. They can’t even find the door! Jesus comes to them in His Word to call them by His truth to be sorry for their sins, believe in His forgiveness and be saved. This is the true vision God gives us from His Word.
After the healed man was thrown out of the temple or synagogue, Jesus searched and found him. He revealed who He was by calling Himself “the Son of Man”, which for any Jew meant the Savior. The Holy Spirit helped the man understand Jesus’ words and along with the powerful miracle led the man to say: “I believe! And he worshipped [Jesus].”(v.38) What a difference a day made in his life. That morning he was blind and people ignored him. At the end of the day, everyone was talking about him and he saw Jesus!
We’ve not seen Jesus like the healed man did, but through God’s Word have seen Him perhaps even better since we have the whole Bible to give us a full picture. Jesus is the Son of God who became one of us. God sent His Son for one reason. “[God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 4:13-14) Jesus lived a life so sinlessly that He could have walked right into heaven at any time. Instead, He let Himself be captured and crucified. On the cross, surrounded by darkness, in great love for us He suffered and died for all our sins. That is the true vision of Jesus that we hold so dear!
How does this true vision about Jesus help us? We look at life differently. We know that problems in the world, like rejection, pain, even physical troubles like blindness are temporary. Sometimes when we pray, Jesus brings relief now; or when we believers die, we’ll instantly find ourselves in heaven, where there is no sin or suffering. John wrote, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, sorrow, or crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then God said to John, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”(Revelation 21:4-5)
The man healed from blindness got a taste of heaven. One minute he was begging for change and the next he was looking into the eyes of Jesus who restored him physically and spiritually! Through God’s Word, we have had true vision restored to us; and for us it’s a difference between life and death. How many other people do we know that think they see God, but don’t know the truth? Pray for them. Have them meet Jesus through His Word. By the power of God some will believe and see and be amazed at the blessings Jesus won for them. The TV may have some benefits for our learning and enjoyment. But, God help us to make full use of His Word so that we have Jesus’ True Vision that we fully appreciate living by His saving truth! Amen.